DER Management Solutions: Making Sense of DERMS, VPPs and MicrogridsSession
The ongoing evolution of distribution grids is being driven by the three Ds – decarbonization, decentralization and digitalization. Each of these trends and their respective outcomes will require investments in a range of technologies. One set of technologies that are common across the three trends are those technologies that comprise DER management solutions currently referred to as DERMS, VPPs and microgrids. The ability to operate and maintain all types of DERs enabling all possible benefits and use cases will be a critical capability for all grid stakeholders in the upcoming five years. Although there are currently multiple DER management solutions supporting different use cases the trend is toward the convergence of DER management solutions. The next major phase of DER solutions will not only encompass the convergence of these solutions but will also include software platforms to enable the creation and operation of transactive energy markets.
Although there is debate concerning definitions it is generally accepted that a DERMS is a hardware and software platform to monitor and control distributed energy resources (DER) in a manner that maintains or improves the reliability, efficiency, and overall performance of the electric distribution system. A VPP solution is a system that relies upon software and smart grid technologies to remotely and automatically dispatch retail DER services to a distribution or wholesale market via an aggregation and optimization platform. A microgrid is a group of interconnected loads and distributed energy resources within clearly defined electrical boundaries that acts as a single controllable entity with respect to the grid. A microgrid can connect and disconnect from the grid to enable it to operate in both grid-connected or island-mode. Given these definitions how can distribution utilities, energy retailers, aggregators, IPPs, energy traders and prosumers make sense of these technology solutions and decide why, how and when to invest in them?
This presentation will explore the drivers and trends associated with DER management solutions, propose a framework for understanding and positioning these solutions, and present a scenario for the evolution of these solutions over the next five years.